How To Make Free iPhone Ringtones Using iTunes

Downloading ringtones for your iPhone might not be the most expensive item on your budget, but that doesn’t mean making your own doesn’t totally rule!

Using only iTunes (no gimmicks or downloads here), you can make ringtones for your iPhone from any part of any (DRM-free) song in your library.

Now, I’m not particularly tech-savvy, but I have to say this is one of the easiest, raddest things for iPhone users to know.

1. Choose your song and what part of the song you want to record – this only works with DRM-free songs, so you can’t use anything downloaded from iTunes.

The ringtone can be up to 30 seconds long, or shorter. Write down the start and stop times, you’re going to need those later. Once you’ve decided what part of the song you want to be your ringtone, right click on the song. Next, click “Get Info,” which should be at the top of the page.

2. In the “Get Info” menu, click on the “Options” tab. At the top of the window will be options like “Volume adjustment” and “Equalizer Preset,” etc…ignore all that. All you need here are the “Start” and “Stop” times. Enter in the time you want to begin recording in “Start” and the end-time in “Stop.” (If you’re starting your ringtone at the beginning of the song, just leave “Start” as “0:00”.)

3. Click “OK” to save your changes – but don’t worry, the song hasn’t been changed permanently. Once the “Get info” window is closed and you’ve returned to the regular iTunes screen, right-click again on the song. About four options down, you should see “Create AAC Version.” If so, click on that. If not, go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Importing, and change the “Import Using” drop down menu to “AAC Encoder.”

4. After you’ve clicked “Create AAC Version,” your ringtone file should automatically appear in iTunes directly above the original song. Drag and drop your newly-created ringtone file onto your desktop. The file should be labeled something like “mynewringtone.m4a” – convert “.m4a” to “.m4r”.

5. Next, delete the original version from iTunes – this will not work if you don’t. Once the iTunes copy is deleted, double-click the “.m4r” file on your desktop and it will open in iTunes as a ringtone! Finally, plug in your iPhone and drag and drop your new custom ringtones into your phone. Now go and annoy everyone around you with your terrible taste in music!

10 thoughts on “How To Make Free iPhone Ringtones Using iTunes”

  1. Thanks for the tip, great work!

    After having done a few I'd suggest:

    A. Use a folder instead of the desktop (e.g. create a "ringtones" under your itunes folder)

    B. When finished, go back to the original file and 1) set it's start back to zero if needed and 2) clear the end time. When you click OK it will now play the whole track.

  2. For some reason the file comes up as a quicktime movie file and won't let me change the file from M4A to M4R. When I play it it comes up in quicktime instead of itunes. Any ideas on how to make it work?

  3. you guys are dumb…when the article said "The file should be labled something like “mynewringtone.m4a” – change “.m4a” to “.m4r” and save the file." – they meant that you just had to rename the extension of the file from m4a to m4r

    google it…

  4. did you guys who can't get it to work simply try changing the "a" to an"r" in the extension? Don't over-complicate the instructions….

  5. I changed the a to and r, but it just changed the file name and didn't actually change the file. I have Windows Vista. Does that make a difference? Cause I've tried everything.

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